Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hope kills but love perseveres.

I can not thank each person who read my last post enough. The outpouring of support and condolences overwhelmed me with love. The post even reached people who could possibly help us through this mess, as well as get the story out there. It's not just me and Aaron going through this, I assure you. I'm not an ideal voice for anyone but myself, but I am willing to talk. Thank you all, again and one thousand times. It will get better.

We've had some time to process this mess we're in. Retirement seemed imminent and unwelcome until the only other option was presented: continue on active duty (COAD). For more reasons than I think I can list, that is really not a good option for Aaron or me as his wife. And since it seems that we are in this together, we have discussed it. Just... no. I do not trust the regular Army to know what to do with him when he needs medical care, or anything else related to his unique situation (I have seen this demonstrated time and time again, unfortunately, with other soldiers who COAD), which is just one compelling reason for us to move on. Financially, employment-wise, the ability to settle down... all of these are things COAD would make difficult. There is a lot of aide (like receiving a home) we can't accept while he's active duty. So, yeah. That COAD info sheet put things into perspective really quickly. Retirement it is.

Delaying retirement is also a non-option, as it would take a catastrophic medical event for that to happen- and let's just go ahead and say "hell no" to that. We've had all the fun we're going to have with this whole routine of losing limbs and recovery and such, thankyouverymuch. Aaron does not have to start all over at a VA with treatment when he becomes a veteran; he can continue some services at Bethesda. There is that and that's all there is to it. The rest of our life together is coming at us, like balls in a batting cage. We're swinging as best we can.

After looking myself in the mirror and talking to Aaron, he supports the so-called decision that attempting IVF in a few short months is probably epically reckless of us, if not ludicrous. IVF is not for the weak, but the super human. Having children under any circumstance should not be a forced issue, either. I am not in great physical condition at the moment. In fact, I'm pretty wrecked from care giving. I've been off and on birth control because I either bled through the pack and stopped taking it, or stress screwed my cycle up so I took the pills to have some consistency. I just don't think I nor Aaron can handle that this year. I am not happy, at all, that realizing this could jeopardize our chances of making a kid at all and forever, but that's the reality of it. Perhaps if there is workable sperm we can freeze it and attempt IVF in a few years, when we had planned on  it, anyway. Aaron and I both feel that IVF at this time would damage our relationship. We just... can't. Sigh. So even if it is an option, it's not one we want to gamble on at the moment. Yes, babies are wonderful and usually having one is the most adverse situation a couple faces. Aaron and I are pretty well versed in adversary and we just can't elect into any more.

Aaron and I did not get married to have kids. I don't know if anyone does, really. What I'm trying to say is that kids don't make or break this for us. This doesn't make us "better" than people who do decide on kids, and go through many different means to become parents. We got married and agreed that kids could happen in the future. Neither one of us lobbied for more than one or two. In fact, before we said our vows, we spent more time talking about adoption as a means than the more traditional method. I know we have the capacity to love a child we did not create and that gives me more confidence in being a parent than our ability to make and bake.

 I just did not fancy myself a mom without a partner. I never dreamt of babies. Call me dysfunctional, but that's the truth. A lot of that has to do with my very turbulent relationship with my uterus. It's never been an easy or pleasant ride, so I've never really harbored good feelings about it. Basically, everything else my uterus has done has sucked so I would never expect it function well in baby making, either. I could be wrong, however. Maybe it was only made for baby making and the rest of it (not making babies every month, thank God) just sucks. So there is my explanation/excuse for why I never thought about becoming a mom. It feels a little bit like it's biting me in the ass, but that's ridiculous. The universe does not work this way. I doubt God works that way, either.

But. But. Aaron does things to me and my brain, and I'd love nothing else more than to have a mini-me/him running around. Maybe even one for each of us. And as always, becoming parents should be a choice. It's not fair, nor will it ever be, that the choice was taken away from him and his wife. That will always be awful, and yet another cost of war. That's what he gave up to go do his country's bidding, to protect other soldiers by taking on that bomb, to be an EOD team leader, a service member, a hero. It's bullshit if I ever heard it. He deserved so much better than this.

I am not okay with any of this but I am content with it. Aaron and I will probably adopt in a few years. We will eventually be okay with all of this. What I really appreciate more than anyone could know is how supportive Aaron has been. It terrified me to be honest with him and tell him that I just didn't think I could go through IVF in a few months and what that might cost us. He just wants us to be happy and healthy in every moment, and he knows that we will be happy later with or without a biological child. Or any child at all. Who knows. We do have some choices (like, two. Kidding, we have four).

We have each other. We have each other. We have each other! And if that's all we get in this lifetime, we already got more than we bargained for. More than we ever could have hoped for. I am so lucky to wake up next to him, to be his wife, his caregiver, his partner. It's not easy but I have never, not once, thought that it wasn't worth it. My marriage has already been through hell and back and we're just a month short of our third anniversary. We know what we're made of, what it means to work and lose and fight and cry and still laugh. Every morning starts with laughter. This ain't easy, but if he can still text me "boobies" hours after I've had another meltdown, I know we'll be alright. I don't need anything or anyone else, really.

And on a little bit of a more content and not-quite-happy-but-not-morose note, that's all I have to say about that. (I am also going back to a therapist and probably going to get a little medicinal assistance for a few months, because my anxiety is through the damn roof. But I am doing okay.)


  1. You. Are. Beautiful. I am so glad that the two of you have each other to lean on during a time like this. I admire your strength and courage to just come out here and tell it like it is. Whatever route you take to get there, I am sure you two will be fantastic parents. It doesn't matter if they are biological or not. The love that you have for each other will be shared with your child no matter what. You are the best Kat!

  2. You are simply amazing! Your outlook on everything is inspiring! I have a lot to learn from you.

  3. You put it so succinctly: hope does kill, at the moment for me it's the most cruel thing. I just had a miscarriage after our last round of IVF (7 years is more than enough and we did get a child out of it). What I wanted to say is that you are superqualified for IVF whenever you decide to do it. Because essentially it's the same cycle of hope and thinking I have nothing else to give and waking up and giving more that you thought you had in you. It's tough because the whole babymaking process is what is done to you, you just let it go and ride it the best you can. I can't even begin imagining what you've been through but I will just repeat you have everything what it takes to go through it, be it now or later.

  4. Where can I find the COAD info sheet you mentioned? We live at WR. Thanks